Attorney for American Airlines: Girl, 9, 'should have known' she was being recorded by creepy flight attendant in the restroom

BOSTON, MA - Back in January, an American Airlines flight attendant was arrested for allegedly recording or attempting to record a nine-year-old girl who was using the lavatory while on the plan and now months later, the lawyer representing the airline went on record saying that the young girl was to blame.

In addition to video recording the nine-year-old back in September of 2023, the child perpetrator, identified as 36-year-old Estes Carter Thompson III, allegedly possessed recordings of four other minor female passengers using lavatories while on board the plane he had worked at previously. 

Even with that evidence the lawyer representing the airlines claims that the nine-year-old who is suing the company should have known that she was being videotaped by Thompson while using the plane lavatory. According to the New York Post, the outrageous suggestion was mentioned in the legal papers that the attorney filed on Monday, May 20th, as part of an ongoing lawsuit that the young girl's family brought against the company.

Federal prosecutors stated that Thompson was charged with one count of attempted sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of child pornography depicting a prepubescent minor.

At the time of the arrest, Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy said in a statement, "The deeply disturbing conduct alleged here is something no parent or child should ever have to worry about when they travel. Mr. Thompson allegedly used his position to prey on and surreptitiously record innocent children, including unaccompanied minors, while in a vulnerable state aboard flights he was working."

In the legal filing from Monday, May 20th, American Airlines wrote that the young girl should have been aware that a device was recording her as she used the lavatory. According to one of the various legal defenses offered by the lawyers for the airline, "Any injuries or illnesses alleged to have been sustained by Plaintiff, Mary Doe, were proximately caused by Plaintiff's own fault and negligence, were proximately caused by Plaintiff's use of the compromised lavatory, which she knew or should have known contained a visible and illuminated recording device."

The family's lawyer, Paul Llewellyn, said that his clients' are "absolutely livid" with the airline's latest legal move, adding, "I was absolutely shocked and I think it's outrageous. The idea that American Airlines and its lawyers would blame a nine-year-old for being filmed, in my opinion, just smacks of desperation and depravity. What on earth is American Airlines thinking by adopting such a strategy?"

The New York Post reported that back in September 2023, Thompson was working aboard an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Boston, Massachusetts on September when he was caught red-handed by a 14-year-old girl he tried to secretly film in the plane lavatory. This event set off the federal probe that revealed videos of four prior victims, including the nine-year-old and another as young as seven.

According to prosecutors, on the flight from Charlotte to Boston, the 14-year-old got up to use the main cabin lavatory closest to her seat, but found it occupied. Thompson approached her as she was waiting and told her that the first-class bathroom was open and escorted her there. Before she went in, he told her that he needed to wash his hands and that the toilet seat was broken. He popped in and out of the bathroom quickly before letter her in.

Once inside the restroom, the 14-year-old noticed red stickers on the underside of the open toilet seat lid that read, "INOPERATIVE CATERING EQUIPMENT" and "REMOVE FROM SERVICE, and "SEAT BROKEN" was hand-written in black ink on one of the stickers. Beneath the stickers the girl found Thompson's cell phone that he had hidden so that he could record a video while she went to the bathroom.

She snapped a photo of the stickers and phone before leaving, at which time Thompson immediately went back inside the lavatory. The victim returned to her seat and shows the photos she took to her parents, who then reported what had happened to other flight attendants. They alerted the captain who contacted authorities on the ground in Boston.

Llewllyn said that American Airlines did not suggest that the 14-year-old teen from North Carolina was culpable in a separate and ongoing lawsuit against the airline that was first filed in December 2023. At his arraignment, Thompson pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography depicting a prepubescent minor. 

According to NBC10, shortly after the filing by the attorney, American Airlines released a statement denouncing the filing, saying, "Our outside legal counsel retained with our insurance company made an error in this filing. The included defense is not representative of our airline and we have directed it be amended this morning. We do not believe this child is at fault and we take the allegations involving a former team member very seriously."

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Desperate move to blame the victim. She indeed had a reasonable expectation of privacy. AA should have terminated this person as soon as it was discovered that he placed his cell phone there and distanced themselves from this sicko. I hope they did. Not planning on flying AA anytime in the future, and maybe never.


American doesn’t care about the passenger. And I can tell you they have some horrible employees. I had a late departing flight that caused me to miss my connecting flight. When I went to ticketing I had the lady spend 30 minutes trying to find out if my flight indeed left late (or if I was lying). Finally the other woman working there pointed out my flight landed late, which means it left late. She was inept and shouldn’t have been working in that position.


I would like to know the name of that attorney so I know not to ever use them.


That is so wrong// American Airlines does not need to be boycotted just everyone just find another air line to use/ They will get the message when they have to file BK..


Coming from American it’s not a surprise at all. I’ve had horrible dealings with them for mistakes they made and I’ve never flown with them since. I hope these kids get millions.


It’s sad that an attorney and a business could sink to such a sickening low such as this! They are as sick as the perverted criminal is and the attorney should be disbarred!


Attorneys like that have a date with a rope & tree.


In the long run AA would be better off settling out of court and admitting one of their employees gave them a very bad black eye, apologize to the girl and offer her and her family some free round trip tickets to Orlando or Hawaii in an attempt to show that they are human. The lawyers who are advising them to make this absurd claim are not acting in the best interests of their client.

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